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Spying accusations fly in America's Cup dispute

America's Cup champion Alinghi has alleged that a rival spied on construction plans for the Geneva-based sailing team's new boat.

This content was published on May 13, 2009 - 09:39

Alinghi say Swiss and French police are investigating the actions by a member of rival BMW Oracle Racing's design team.

Alinghi released a French police document in which a man admits to gathering information about the boat the Swiss are secretly building for an extraordinary head-to-head contest.

According to the report, he confessed to being "one of a team of spies hired by [Oracle] to illegally break into facilities and take photographs and secure information".

He was allegedly hired in December of 2007 and paid €10,000 (SFr15,088) per month.

Oracle calls the charges "trumped-up". "Legal observation of competitors is common practice in the America's Cup and other major sporting events," it said in a statement.

The allegation is the latest salvo in a dispute over the particulars of the next America's Cup race. Alinghi won the 32nd edition of yachting's premier event in the Spanish port of Valencia in July 2007.

Oracle has been training for a duel since October on a giant trimaran while Alinghi began a training programme late last month.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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